Pictures of Restored Coins
How much of a difference does electrolytic reduction make on the appearance of the corroded and dirt incrusted coins from archaeological excavations? These pictures speak for themselves on the difference in detail visible on treated coins.
Viewing Note: These pictures are best viewed in true color resolution on a Super VGA monitor. If you are viewing them in a lower resolution, the pictures might not appear very clear. I've kept the size of the pictures small to help this page load faster. Unfortunately, these pictures are not as clear as the actual photographs as a result.
The hash marks show the actual size (each mark is 1 millimeter). The "Before" pictures have been turned so that they are oriented in the same direction as the "After" pictures to make it easier to compare the two pictures.
Before the treatment of this coin, you could trace the outline of the head and read some writing on the left side. (However, the photographer was not able to determine that the image was a head before he compared it to the final result.)
This coin was treated for 15 minutes by electrolytic reduction in a 15% sodium carbonate solution with a very small amount (about a "pinch") of Alconox detergent added. A small platinum sheet was used as the anode. The voltage was set to 12 and approximately 2-3 amps passed through the coins. After treatment, the dirt was brushed off the coin with a toothbrush under running water.
Notice the detail visible on the coin after treatment: hair lines, eye pupil, etc.
Before the treatment of this coin, you could trace much of the image, but the fine detail (the hair lines, individual beads on the headband, etc.) was not visible.
This coin was also treated for 15 minutes by electrolytic reduction as the first coin.
Again, notice the detail visible on the coin after treatment: hair lines, headband and cloak details, etc.
Electrolytic reduction aids greatly in increasing the visibility of details on the excavated coin's image, and, as a result, aids in the identification of the coin.